James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Archive for November 2004

Losing hope …

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From Reason, Local Time: Will the Supreme Court save federalism from the conservatives?: “At last year’s American Bar Association convention, [Bush Administration] Justice Department lawyer Mark Quinlivan warned that defending ‘states’ rights’ has a disreputable past and a dangerous future.”

So much for Republicans taking a strict constructionist or textual approach to the Constitution …

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Written by JamesEJ

Monday, November 29, 2004 at 5:24 pm

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Supreme Court Considers Medical Marijuana Case

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From Reuters, Supreme Court Considers Medical Marijuana Case. This case provides an interesting test of ideologies. On one hand, liberals love Wickard v. Filburn and its lineage that expanded the federal government under an overly broad construction of the Commerce Clause. On the other, true liberals oppose drug laws imposed by an overreaching federal government. Hopefully, in all of this, liberals will see the follies of big government, and conservatives will accept liberalized drug laws that are consistent with the principles of limited government. I can only hope …

Written by JamesEJ

Monday, November 29, 2004 at 4:05 pm

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The Israeli Foreign Minister appears to be taking my advice on Abbas …

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From Reuters, UK’s Straw Gets Israeli Pledge on Palestinian Vote: “‘We are very sorry about the last statements by Mahmoud Abbas about the necessity of Palestinians to keep the heritage of Arafat which was involved with terrorism most of the time,’ [Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan] Shalom said. ‘We’d like the new leadership to be more responsible.’

“Abbas’s comments were seen as an attempt to build credibility among hard-liners. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation. Israelis say allowing them back would be demographic suicide for the Jewish state.”

Somehow, I don’t think Shalom reads this blog, but the article echoes my analysis and advice from yesterday.

Written by JamesEJ

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 at 12:14 pm

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Biography of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)

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From the Jewish Virtual Library, you can read about Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at 5:35 pm

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Arafat’s successors vow to follow in his footsteps …

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The Jerusalem Post reports, Arafat’s successors vow to follow in his footsteps: “Yasser Arafat’s three top successors vowed on Tuesday to follow in his footsteps by refusing to compromise on the right of return for all refugees and insisting on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

While this position is ridiculous as a political matter (Israel will never allow itself to be destroyed by overwhelming Arab immigration) such statements may be necessary to win broader Palestinian support. Abbas presents hope for peace, but the real concern is whether he can deliver it. In order to do so, he will have to re-educate the population that has been manipulated to hate Jews for many years. This will require a careful strategy of defending Palestinian terrorists while also marginalizing them. The concern is not that Abbas is worthy of negotiations with Israel, but that the radical elements among the Palestinians are too strong to support any workable partner for peace. We’ve already tried negotiating with one who can deliver peace, but refuses to do so. Hopefully one who is willing to deliver peace can find a way to deliver it.

Further down, the article notes, “‘The decision to nominate Abbas as Fatah’s candidate is undemocratic and illegal,’ said a Fatah official from Ramallah. ‘The Fatah central council does not represent the majority of the Fatah cadres, especially the young generation.'” The truth of this claim underlies the fear that peace is not possible.

In other media, there was some excellent analysis on the dilemma in finding someone who can be both a partner for peace and deliver Palestinian civility in this article from The New Republic. It makes me think that Israel should take a hard rhetorical line against Abbas now, to help Abbas earn legitimacy among the Palestinians as one who fight against Israel.

Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at 5:24 pm

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If Palestinian authorities had a comparable sense of justice …

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According to Reuters, Israeli Officer Charged in Death of Palestinian Girl. While the article highlights clear abuses, the notable thing is that the soldier who acted wrongfully is being tried. The Palestinian Authority only tries those who report terrorists, but never tries terror suspects. Israel has implemented a system whereby Palestinians can receive justice. Where is the similar action on the Palestinian side?

Written by JamesEJ

Monday, November 22, 2004 at 3:44 pm

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How the free market protects environmentalism …

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There is a great article on the Sea Ranch coastal development in Reason Online. It is for anyone who believes that libertarianism, property rights, and capitalism are somehow structurally opposed to environmentalism. The article is, Cramped Style: How regulators derailed California’s most environmentally progressive development.

Written by JamesEJ

Monday, November 22, 2004 at 3:38 pm

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